Once upon a time, a student moved into my district from out-of-state and asked me, "Why don't you guys play Conjugation Battleship?"
I had no idea what she was talking about, so she explained the game to me. It was FASCINATING! That was ten years ago, and now my classes have played it ever since.
It's an awesome and powerful way to work with verbs and subject pronouns. The students are learning, but they really don't notice it!
HINTS: Use this game sparingly. Once a month or every other month is sufficient. Over-use will kill the novelty.
Some students enjoy "battling" with the SAME partner throughout the year. They enjoy keeping track of who wins more games.
Have the students use colored pencils to shade in the boats. It's easier for them to see the different shapes, and the students always enjoy coloring!
Occasionally, have the battleship grid completely conjugated-out (before passing it to the students). The students can quickly shade-in the boats and begin play.
Don't use an entire class-time for the activity. The students will get board. 20-30 minutes is sufficient.
Sometimes assign the grid as homework. Have the students do the conjugation of the playing grid as homework and then bring it "ready to play" the following day. (Have a few back-ups pre-printed and pre-conjugated. There are always some who forget or do not do the assignment and then they are left out...)
The first time you play, THOROUGHLY MODEL THE ACTIVITY. It will be a bit confusing for the students until they get the hang of it.
I use it to have students practice different verb conjugations and tenses. For example, student A calls out "You played" (in Spanish) and if student B has a boat in that location on his/her board, the reply is "hit."
So yes, it could work with basic English verb tenses, although I have not done that. You could use present tense, past, the gerund forms, past participles, etc.